Students Staff

23 January 2013

One of ‘greenest’ university building projects in the region

Sustainability is at the heart of the new £21 million landmark building which will house Essex Business School at the University of Essex’s Colchester Campus.

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Tuesday 29 January to mark the official start of work on the innovative three-storey building – which is set to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the region.

The project is being overseen by award-winning construction company Morgan Sindall and leading architectural practice BDP, which has designed the building to be ‘carbon neutral’.

Renewable technologies and energy efficient design will be showcased by the building which will provide state-of-the-art facilities for research, education and collaboration with partners in industry.

Essex Business School Director Professor Michael Sherer said: “This will be an outstanding building which will provide a beacon for sustainable design in the region and beyond, while offering exceptional facilities to students and staff at our University.

“Essex Business School has seen huge growth over recent years with students attracted by our distinctive approach to nurturing the leaders of the future.

“I am pleased our sustainable principles and our commitment to recognising the social, ethical and environmental implications of business practices have heavily influenced the designs for this new University building.”

>Over the last five years the Business School has seen a 50 per cent increase in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate students it caters for. The new building will allow the Business School to bring all staff and students at the Colchester Campus under one roof, while also offering new opportunities to expand its links with the business community locally, nationally and internationally.

The building will include a 200-seater lecture theatre, a number of smaller seminar rooms, learning and teaching areas, common rooms and social spaces for students.

Simon Neale, Director of Estate Management at the University, said: “This innovative new building will provide the Business School with the space and facilities to develop into one of the premier business schools in Europe, while simultaneously showcasing the School’s ethos to lead the development of sustainable business strategies.”

Both Morgan Sindall and BDP were recognised by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards in 2012 for delivering outstanding educational projects.

Morgan Sindall area director Gavin Napper said: “The University’s’s vision for this project is ambitious and progressive and we are looking forward to bringing our extensive experience in constructing education facilities to bear on this development.”

The University aims to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating through the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) – the industry standard for assessing the environmental impact of new buildings.

The designs feature a range of innovative sustainable elements including a ‘green’ sedum roof, photovoltaic solar panels and sustainably sourced materials.

To minimise energy use the attractive timber clad building is shaped so that it benefits from natural day lighting and ventilation. Meanwhile, the building will also feature transparent panelled roof similar to that used in the Eden Project, which is made from a fluorine-based plastic, which is highly resilient, self-cleaning and recyclable.

A winter garden will be at the heart of the development to act as an environmental buffer zone, supporting the passive ventilation and heating strategy of the building while also providing an attractive central gathering space.


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